• 29 MAY 13
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    dr. charles gatt jr.To commemorate May as Older Americans Month and Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) Deputy Commissioner Lowell Arye joined members of the New Jersey Interagency Council on Osteoporosis (ICO) on May 13th in honoring professionals and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the prevention, detection and treatment of this often debilitating condition.

    Among this year’s honorees for raising awareness of osteoporosis is Dr. Charles J. Gatt, Jr., Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at The University of Medicine and Dentistry’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Gatt supervised the development and implementation of an orthopaedic post-fracture order set that is now part of the Robert Wood Johnson hospital medical management of all fracture patients 50 and older. The program is instrumental in diagnosing osteoporosis and hopefully will impact secondary prevention of fractures. Any patient 50 or over admitted to the hospital with a fracture will now receive comprehensive fracture care as opposed to the fracture simply being treated and the patient discharged. For the past two years, as Chair of Orthopedics at RWJ-UMDNJ Medical School, Dr. Gatt has taken a leadership role in incorporating osteoporosis training and care into the orthopaedic resident training.

    Osteoporosis, known as the “Silent Disease,” is a serious condition in which bones become thin, brittle and easily broken. Nearly 1.5 million New Jersey residents either have or are at high risk for developing osteoporosis, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. In addition, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports about 7,260 individuals over age 65 have a hip fracture annually and the cost per hip fracture with hospitalization in New Jersey for this age group averaged $77,084.

    In addition to Dr. Gatt, also honored were 14 volunteers of Project Healthy Bones, a 24-week peer-led low impact exercise and education program designed to decrease bone loss, increase bone density and improve strength, balance and flexibility.

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